On the opposite side of the road to the popular Redlands RSL in Cleveland is a smaller building bearing the title Redlands RSL Veterans Community Centre.
In all my years living in the Redland,s I have never known what happens within the confines of this building. Come with me and you too will be pleasantly surprised!
Many years ago the original building served as Cleveland's courthouse and in 2007, after a major refurbishment, it was reopened as the Redlands RSL Library and Museum.
The museum provides a fascinating snapshot of Australia during times of war with memorabilia display cases full of donations from those times, many from families with a history drawn from the Redlands. Photos and posters adorn walls, statues don service uniforms, and a corner dedicated to service animals across all theatres of war, including pigeons, had me reaching for a tissue.
The museum is not large but it is so full that you quickly forget that because there is just so much to see - old postcards, photos, badges, tally bands and much more.
As well, there is a well-stocked military library where school students and the community can access conflict history eras. It was imperative for me as a Bomber Command tragic to avoid this area or I would have been lost there for hours.
The aim of this venue is also to provide a relaxing atmosphere for Veterans and Ex-Servicemen and Women in which they can read the many books available or view the DVDs and videos that are also provided. RSL members can also borrow books to take home to read, by leaving their contact details in a borrowing book.
The Redlands RSL Library and Museum building is also home to the Veterans and Ex-Servicemen and Women's Community and the Office of the Vietnam Veterans Pension and Welfare Officers which is served well by a large meeting room with kitchen facilities.
Volunteers man the museum from 10am till 2pm Mondays through to Fridays and were extremely helpful during our visit. Group Bookings are available by appointment during the same hours by contacting Martin Rabjohns on 0438 229 763. A gold coin donation is requested. For further information go here.
You don't learn about these places without asking, do you? Redlands RSL is located at 8 Passage Street, Cleveland. See here.